Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
For a second day running we get action from Korakuen Hall, though this is a much smaller show than the stacked card we got on Thursdays. In fact this is a card where the names are minimal, but the action should again be very, very good. It should also be noted that this card was, originally, scheduled for April before the state of emergency in Japan forced it to be delayed, hence the poster above.
The main event will see Japanese ranked Super Featherweights clash as Kazuma Sanpei (19-6, 8) takes on the heavy handed Kazuaki Miyamoto (7-5, 6). On paper Sanpei comes in as the clear favourite, with the more impressive record and the better JBC ranking, however it's certainly not a gimmie for him and the 26 year old has shown a questionable level of durability and comes into this 16 months removed from his last win. Miyamoto on the other hand is the definition of a glass cannon, with only one of this 12 bouts going to the final bell. Expect Miyamoto to try and take Sanpei's head off, and for Sanpei to try and box early before letting his heavier shots go in the later stages.
The chief support bout will also feature a ranked fighter, in fact Tatsuya Yanagi (17-6-2, 7) will be risking his JBC, OPBF and WBO AP rankings here, as he takes on Toru Kiyota (10-4, 7) in an 8 round Lightweight bout. Coming in to this Yanaga has been putting together some of his best performances, including wins over Masashi Noguchi, Koichi Aso and Kazuki Saito, and at 31 will likely know that a seventh career loss would be a massive setback. Kiyota on the other hand has only won one of his last 3, and 3 of his last 6, but can be a tricky customer and two of those losses was very close. Although perhaps not a great contest on paper, we expect this one to be ultra competitive throughout the 8 round schedule.
In a potentially easy to over-look bout we'll see the limited but heavy handed Ken Koibuchi (6-5, 5) take on Katsunori Endo (7-3, 4), in what could be a very explosive encounter between two men with some history between them. These two men faced off back in 2019, with Endo stopping Koibuchi in 3 rounds, giving Koibuchi his sole stoppage loss. It's fair to say Koibuchi will be seeking revenge here, but Endo on the other hand will be confidence of scoring a third straight win inside the distance. Although not a high level match up, this could be something a little special
One other Japanese ranked fighter on this card is Welterweight Hironori Shigeta (6-2-1, 3), who is looking to bounce back from a 2020 loss to Shoki Sakai. The talented Shigeta shouldn't have many problems here as he takes on the limited Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-14-1, 9), who has been stopped in his last 5 and is without a win in almost 4 years. In fact Miyazaki is 1-10 in his last 11 bouts!
One other fighter we want to briefly mention is Japanese based Italian fighter Federica Boni (0-0) who makes her belated debut against Asako Sugawara (0-0) in an all debutant bout. Boni was supposed to debut a few weeks ago, and has gotten a bit of press in Japan, for being an Italian born female boxer, and we really are looking forward to following her journey over the next few years.
Yunusabad Sports Complex in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Over in Tashkent we're set for a show featuring a number of notable Asian fighters, including three talented Uzbekistani fighters.
The main event of the show will see the heavy handed Shohjahon Ergashev (19-0, 17) take on Tanzania's Salimu Jengo (16-3, 10) in a bout for the lightly regarded EBP title at 140lbs. The talented Ergashev, will be fighting for the first time since his rather farcical bout with Dzmitry Miliusha last November, which had been postponed due to legal issues. The reality here is that Ergashev will almost certainly cruise past Jengo on route to bigger and better things. For those curious the most notable results on Jengu's record are a decision loss to China's Ju Wu and a TKO loss to former Devin Haney opponent Xolisani Ndongeni.
The other noteworthy local on this show is Jamshidbek Najmiddinov (16-1, 13), who appears to be in a stay busy bout after his US debut was delayed to September. His opponent has been named as Georgian fighter Merab Turkadze (6-9-1, 2), and it's really hard to see this being anything but an easy win for Najmiddinov, who's only loss was a very, very controversial one to Viktor Postol.
A third fighter of some note from Uzbekistan is Ulugbek Khakberdiev (6-0, 4), who returns to a pro ring for the first time in more than 2 years. The talented Middleweight is scheduled for 10 rounds against against Dzmitry Atrokhau (16-9, 7), from Belarus. Interestingly Atrokhau has proven to be durable, and it seems the focus here will be for the local man to get some rounds after such a long lay off. This should be a clear case of shaking some ring rust and cruising to a clear, wide, decision victory.
One other name worthy of mentioning the 36 year old Kazakh Alexandr Zhuravskiy (13-7-1, 11), who is much better than his record suggests, taking on Russian Sergey Vorobiev (10-1, 7), in a really good bout at 154lbs. This should be much, much more competitive than it looks on paper, and could end up being potentially the most interestingly contest on the show.
Vegas City Hall, Krasnogorsk, Russia
As well as the action in Japan there are a few Asian fighters in action over in Russia.
One of those is once beaten Russian based Azeri Elnur Samedov (11-1, 3) who is expected to be in action in an 8 rounder. Sadly his opponent for this show hasn't been confirmed at the time of writing, which is a shame as he's been putting on some good performances recently, including scoring wins over Aik Shakhnazaryan and Alexander Podolsky.
Another Russian based Central Asian fighter on this car is the 35 year old Server Emurlaev (23-2, 8), who is supposedly pencilled in to face the returning Andrey Kalyuzhnyy (14-2, 12). This is just an oddity. Kalyuzhnyy hasn't fought since 2016, when he lost to limited Thai Chaloemporn Sawatsuk. Emurlaev on the other hand has fought twice this year, returning after 8 years out of the ring, and recently suffered a loss to touted Kazakh fightr Kamshybek Kunkabayev. Notably Emurlaev is pencilled in for another fighter late in the month, so this one may end up being cancelled due to the other fight, which is a much more meaningful fight than this one.
A new week is up on us on Monday and we get some pretty low key action in both Japan and Russia, with a very under-rated Kazakh fighting in Moscow.
Yodogawa Ward Center, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
The Japanese card is set to come from Yodogawa Ward Center in Osaka and will, barring late cancellations, feature 7 bouts in total, with only a single one scheduled for more than 4 rounds.
That one longer bout will be an 8 rounder between under-rated veteran Shun Ishibashi (10-23-1, 4) and Yu Konomura (9-9-2, 3). With 20 losses to his name it'd be easy to assume that Ishibashi is a "bum" but the 15 year veteran is a mile away from that, and he tends to serve as more of a domestic gatekeeper. During his 34 fight career he's been stopped 7 times but has heard the bell against the likes of Yu Kawaguchi, Mark John Yap, Tenta Kiyose and Juiki Tatsuyoshi. He always comes to win, and doesn't fight like a guy with 20 losses. Although Konomura's ledger looks better on paper he probably enters this as the under-dog and he has just 2 wins since 2016, though like Ishibashi he's no pushover. On paper not a great bout, but both guys do fight to win, and both will feel they can get a win here.
The rest of the card is full of novices with a host of debutants. Included in those debutants are Kodai Shiozaki (0-0) and Takumi Kato (0-0), who face off. These two are both 20 years old and should make for an interesting match up at Super Flyweight. Not only are both men make their debuts, but both are 20 years old so they could end up having success in the future.
One other bout we want to mention is a clash between Jimmy Hiroaki Kobayashi (1-2-1) and Akira Matsuda (0-2). The 36 year old Kobayashi is looking to end a 3 fight slide in what is likely to be one of his final bouts, given the JBC's age rules. Matsuda on the other hand has been stopped in his first two bouts, and can ill afford another loss here. Although a low level bout, this is one where both men will feel their boxing careers are on the line.
Vegas City Hall, Moscow, Russia
Over in Russia it will be Kazakh fighter Alexandr Zhuravskiy (13-6-1, 11) who will be in action. The 35 year old Zhuravskiy is certainly not a big name, but he's a tough guy, with decent power, who comes to win, and will be looking to upset Khuseyn Baysangurov (16-1, 14). Coming in Zhuravskiy is winless in 5, losing 4 and drawing 1, but is an upset minded fighter who could have wins in some of his losses, had he not been the away fighter. Baysangurov will obviously be the favourite, but if he thinks he's going to have an easy time with Zhuravskiy he could well end up getting a real shock here in a very interesting 10 rounder.
This coming Saturday is massive with a trio of world title bouts, to warm up for the big day we get a really interesting card in Japan on Friday, with 2 really good Japan Vs Philippines bouts and a pair of bouts involving touted debutants.
The main event of the show will see OPBF Flyweight champion Jayr Raquinel (10-1-1, 7) look to make his second defense, as he takes on Japanese veteran Takuya Kogawa (30-5-1, 13), who is essentially fighting for his career at this point. The talented Raquinel won the title in March 2018, stopping Keisuke Nakayama, and impressed when he stopped Shun Kosaka in his first defense. Sadly a loss in China to Wulan Tuolehazi last September slowed his ascent and he's been out of the ring ever since. At the age of 34 Kogawa really is a veteran, and the popular Tokyo brawler has began to show signs of his career catching up with him in recent years. Since losing the Japanese title in June 2016 to Masayuki Kuroda we've not been impressed by Kogawa, who has struggled in his 3 subsequent bouts, though has been hit by stretches of inactivity. If Kogawa is half the fighter he once was this could be amazing, alternatively this could be the bout that pushes him into retirement. A full preview of this bout is available here Rising hopeful Raquinel and veteran Kogawa clash for OPBF title
Another brilliant bout between a Filipino and a Japanese local will see Pinoy hopeful Alphoe Dagayloan (13-2-5, 5) take on touted Japanese hopeful Ryota Yamauchi (4-1, 4). For Dagayloan this bout will see him looking to extend a 7 fight winning streak, and build on wins over the likes of Esneth Domingo and Danrick Sumabong. A win for the Filipino will almost certainly open up big opportunities in the near future, given his run of form. For Yamauchi however the bout will be his first since suffering a controversial loss in China to Wulan Tuolehazi, the same man who has also beaten Jayr Raquinel. A win for Yamauchi gets him back on the fast track, whilst a loss will give him some real rebuilding to do. It's great to see both men taking a risk here, and we're really expecting something very special from this bout. Our preview of this bout is available here Yamauchi and Dagayloan set to battle in intriguing 8 rounder!
In an interesting all-Japanese bout ranked fighters clash, as JBC and WBO Asia Pacific ranked Yuichiro Kasuya (12-2-1, 3) takes on OPBF and JBC ranked Takayuki Sakai (9-1-2, 6), in what is arguably the most over-looked bout on the card. The 22 year old Kasuya has been a professional for over 5 years and show a lot of early promise, winning the Rookie of the Year in in 2014. A 3 fight run that saw him going 0-2-1 slowed his ascent but with Kadoebi now behind him it seems like his career is back on track and hopefully he can build on the early promise he showed. Sakai on the other hand started his career 3-1-2 but has since reeled off 6 straight wins, including a very notable one over Amphol Suriyo, aka Pharanpetch Tor Buamas, last December. The winner of this one could well find themselves in a title fight very soon.
One of two notable debutants on this card is Mikio Sakai (0-0), who takes on the hard hitting Elfelos Vega (7-6, 5). As an amateur Sakai went 44-22 (19) and was a pretty notable amateur and even if he didn't regularly win national tournaments he was solid with Kadoebi clearly expecting big things from him. Vega is a very tough tough debut opponent, with the Japanese based Colombian being heavy handed and able to take a good shot. Vega hasn't fought since March 2018, but has shared the ring with the likes of Takeshi Inoue, Charles Bellamy and Kazuto Takesako, with only Takesako and Ryosuke Maruki managing to stop him. This looks like it could be a baptism of fire for Sakai.
Another debutant who is in tough is the 21 year old Ryo Nakai (0-0), who takes on unbeaten Filipino Jay Lloyd Quidlat (4-0-1, 2). The debutant ran up a 30-16 (15) record in the amateurs and should have the tools to handle Quidlat, who is unbeaten but has faced very limited opposition on the lower end of the Filipino scene. An interesting looking debut for Nakai, but a big step up for Quidlat.
In Okalahoma we're expecting to see two Central Asian prospects in action.
The more well known of those is hard hitting Uzbek prospect Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0, 14), who risks his unbeaten record against fellow puncher Abdiel Ramirez (24-4-1, 22). On paper this looks like an interesting match up, and it should be explosive, though Ramirez is the naturally smaller man and has lost 3 of his last 4. Given that both can punch we do expect to see heavy leather thrown, but Ergashev should be too heavy handed, too big and too tough for 28 year old Mexican.
The other Central Asian fighter on this card is Izim Izbaki (1-0, 1), though it should be noted Izbaki has had several fight fall through since his debut. Well regarded by those in Kazakhstan Izbaki has got potential, and should be far too good for the 26 year old Armonte Summers (1-1), who is listed as being 6'10". If this bout takes place we expect Izbaki to fight like a man with a point to prove given the issues he's had with getting in the ring since his debut last November.
Staying in the US we'll also see the unbeaten Bobirzhan Mominov (10-0, 8) take on Javier Flores (14-2, 12). The talented 27 year old Mominov is one of the less spoken about Kazakh prospects but has impressed and looks like someone who needs to be let off the leash sooner, rather than later. On paper this is a big step up for him, with Flores having never been stopped, and having gone 10 rounds with the once touted Ronald Cruz just a few months ago. A good test, but one that Mominov should pass.
New South Wales, Australia
One other bout of note will take place in Australia and see Australian based Filipino veteran Jack Asis (38-22-5, 19) fight for the 66th time as he takes on the unbeaten Youssef Dib (12-0, 5). Asis has had a real roller coaster of a career, turning around a 21-18-4 (10) record by scoring 14 straight wins, but he has suffered back to back losses entering this bout, and was stopped last time out after being dropped a number of times. The 26 year old Dib is no puncher, and did look poor last time out, but should have more than enough to beat the 36 year old Asis.
Gauteng, South Africa
Under-rated Kazakh Alexandr Zhuravskiy (13-4-1, 11) ended a 3 fight losing run last time out, when he held Boyd Allen to a draw in South Africa. This coming Friday he returns to South Africa to take on 21 year old South African puncher Roarke Knapp (8-0-1, 7). This looks a tough ask for Zhuravskiy, however he continues to show that he's no easy out for anyone, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him to give Knapp a really serious test here.
This coming Friday sees Filipino fans getting the bulk of Asian action in quite a stacked card, with a number of bouts of real note, as well as some bouts which could be better than they look on paper.
Davao del Sur, Philippines
That Filipino shows comes from Davao del Sur and features a single title fight, as the twice beaten Jake Bornea (11-2, 5) faces Renerio Arizala (13-6-1, 5) for the WBF Intercontinental Super Flyweight title. On paper this bout might not look anything special, particularly given that Arizala has gone 1-5 in his last 6, but the reality is that both men will be hunting a win and both will put it all out there in an attempt to claim some silverware.
Jake isn't the only member of the Bornea family in action as younger brother Jade Bornea (7-0, 4) risks his unbeaten record against the massively experienced Jetly Purisima (21-22-4, 6). This should see the unbeaten Bornea move to 8-0 but we're expecting to see the talented youngster rack up some much needed rounds as he continues his development. Although Bornea did go 10 rounds last time out he has only got 29 rounds under his belt and a tough survivor like Purisima should really help with his development.
Another unbeaten man on this card looking to keep his “0” in place is the under-rated Ryan Lumacad (12-0-3, 7), who takes on Renoel Pael (21-5-1, 11) in the best bout of the show on paper. The unbeaten Lumacad has drawn 2 of his last 3, though was unlucky last time out not to take a win over Go Onaga in Okinawa and looks like a really talented prospect with a good engine and under-rated power. Interestingly Pael has lost to the two fighters Lumacad has fought to recent draws with, but a solid fighter and looks likely to bring the best out of the unbeaten youngster.
On paper a match up between Adones Cabalquinto (23-3, 15) and Rodel Wenceslao (11-14-1, 4) doesn't look hugely appealing, especially given that Cabalquinto beat his compatriot last year. The reality however is that Wenceslao is much better than the numbers suggest and this could be a really tough ask for Cabalquinto following 3 losses in his last 5.
One man expected to pick up a confidence booster is Rosekie Cristobal (12-2, 9), who has lost his last 2. The once touted Cristobal will be up against the tough but limited Alvin Makiling (10-13-4, 3). Another fighter looking for a confidence boosting win is Joebert Alvarez (15-2-1, 7), who should be strongly favoured to defeat Rodel Tejares (21-42-7, 6) in their 6 rounder.
Hampshire, United Kingdom
As well as the action in the Philippines there will be two Kazakh fighters in action in the UK, as they attempt to both claim titles.
In a really interesting bout at 154lbs Yernar Yeshenov (5-0, 4) will face fellow unbeaten Michael McGurk (8-0, 2), with the winner to become the new WBC Youth Silver Intercontinental champion. The 22 year old Yeshenov has fought in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Thailand, and has previously claimed a Youth regional title at Middleweight, though never filled out to being a fully fledged Middleweight. Scottish fighter McGurk has never been in a bout scheduled for 6 before this contest, and will be needing a career best performance to hold his own with the powerful Kazakh hopeful.
The other bout will see the hard hitting Alexandr Zhuravskiy (13-2, 11) battle against the unbeaten Stephen Danyo (11-0-3, 6) in a bout for the WBO European Welterweight title. Zhuravskiy, like his compatriot, is well travelled and has scored wins in Kazakhstan, Russia and Thailand, with both of his losses being competitive. Danyo is a British based Dutch fighter who has fought all over the place himself and could make for a very interesting match up here.